The Hackney Empire; London 7th July 2010

Taper : Pabby

Rig : Church Audio ST-11 Cardioid Mics -> Battery Box -> iRiver H120 (Rockbox r18607-3.0-080923)

Length : 94.45

01. Ready To Start
02. Modern Man
03. Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
04. No Cars Go
05. Haiti
06. Empty Room
07. Rococo
08. The Suburbs
09. Suburban War
10. Intervention
11. We Used To Wait
12. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
13. Rebellion
14. Month of May
16. Crown of Love
17. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
18. Keep The Car Running
19. Wake Up

SoundForge was used for trimming the start/end of the WAV, normalisation and fading in/out. No equalisation was performed on this recording.

Deemed as a "secret show", this was The Arcade Fire's first UK appearance since the back end of 2007 and boy were the audience ready for it! The tickets were primarily sold via a pre-sale on the Universal website that was done in conjunction with Ticketmaster. This pre-sale would have been better organised by school kids, I kid you not. Eventually a small number of tickets went on open sale and typically disappeared within seconds. So, other than a handful of seats reserved for the press and the odd guest-lister, the show was generally attended by fans who would have sold their soul to be there (and several of them virtually did, looking at the eBay listings).

The Hackney Empire is your typical old-style, grandiose theatre, more used to pantomimes and variety shows than out-and-out rock concerts (photo included). Thankfully the ground floor seats were removed to allow a large proportion of the audience to stand, with the multi-tiered seating providing a great view for everyone else. I was situated in the 1st tier of seats, 5 rows back, slightly to the right of stage-centre. This not only provided a great view, but the sound was better than I was expecting too.

The volume of noise that greeted the band arriving on stage was deafening. In fact, it caused the auto gain control on my iRiver to adjust the levels down by 4 settings before the music had even started! This didn't affect the recording though and everything progressed smoothly from then on.

As to the show itself, what can I say other than it was everything I expected of it and more! The setlist contained 8 songs from the band's forthcoming new album, The Suburbs, along with 7 from Funeral and 3 from Neon Bible. Watching from above, it was obvious (and to be expected) that a fair number of the audience were not familiar with the new songs and it was the Funeral tracks which typically brought the house down. In particular, I would describe the encore as the best I've ever seen from this great band, which isn't bad considering this was my 10th time seeing them live!

The recording turned out very well indeed, given my distance from the speaker stacks, and audience chatter during the songs is minimal. It could maybe do with a touch of boost in the bass department, but that is down to personal preference and I would never perform equalisation on a source recording. What you get here is as it was recorded, with just a volume boost being performed by myself.

This recording is dedicated to all the people from (Us Kids Know) who were at this show. You guys make following this great band all the more special. Thank you for a fantastic day.

Anyway, after too long away, The Arcade Fire are back and I strongly suggest you try and catch at least one of their shows. You will not be disappointed!